Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences & UBC Division of Respiratory Medicine
Respiratory Evaluation Sciences Program

Research Theme COPD

QRISK3 underestimates the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with COPD

Background: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The extent to which the excess CVD risk is captured by risk factors in QRISK, a widely used CVD risk scoring tool, is not well studied.

Methods: We created an incidence cohort of diagnosed COPD patients from the United Kingdom (UK) Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD database (January 1998-July 2018). The outcome was a composite of fatal or non-fatal CVD events. Sex-specific age-standardised incidence ratios (SIR) were compared with values for the UK primary-care population. The observed 10-year CVD risk was derived using the Kaplan-Meier estimator and was compared with predicted 10-year risk from the QRISK3 tool.

Results: 13 208 patients (mean age 64.9 years, 45% women) were included. CVD incidence was 3.53 events per 100 person-years. The SIR of CVD was 1.71 (95% CI 1.61 to 1.75) in women and 1.62 (95%CI 1.54-1.64) in men. SIR was particularly high among patients younger than 65 years (women=2.13 (95% CI 1.94 to 2.19); men=1.86 (95% CI 1.74 to 1.90)). On average, the observed 10-year risk was 52% higher than QRISK predicted score (33.5% vs 22.1%). The difference was higher in patients younger than 65 years (observed risk 82% higher than predicted).

Conclusion: People living with COPD are at a significantly heightened risk of CVD over and beyond their predicted risk. This is particularly the case for younger people whose 10-year CVD risk can be >80% higher than predicted. Risk scoring tools must be validated and revised to provide accurate CVD predictions in patients with COPD.

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